When the feeling of oppression starts in, however it is experienced, projection begins and we start to distort our perceptions of ourselves. How do you clean up a projection? In our licensure class, participants are learning to do it with themselves and with others.
This business of oppression is a signal at the beginning of a pattern of emotions to which we are addicted, and the consequent escapes (some of which are pleasurable for a while, but don’t last) are the biggest blocks to the coaching process.
When they get in the way, they seem to bring down the whole UpSpiral to a DownSpiral and there is a loss of the sense or use of one’s strengths. That’s the downside and it’s the problem side we work with while we are changing the “lean” toward positive emotions. None of this behavior makes you “neurotic,” none of it sets you up for a clinical diagnosis or a DSM IV number to describe your mental state. But it can get worse and worse until disorder becomes the case. This pattern of emotions to which we are addicted is something common to everyone: oppression, the loss of our sense of power and giving it away to something that seems “bigger than us” and “beyond us.” Usually the cumulative stress of the small stuff is what does it. It usually isn’t the big stuff that gets us down.
However, this isn’t where it’s at. We just have to know it exists. You don’t learn to play a piano by first learning not to play the wrong notes and then after you’ve learned not to play the wrong notes, you then learn to play the right ones.
To make beautiful music, you start with the right notes and you practice and practice the scales. The same is true with the positive UpSpiral life. You have to learn to play the positive scales. The best way to unlearn playing the wrong notes is to learn to play the right ones instead. It’s a choice.
But just to make the point, here is the “yukky” side of this made even clearer. The negative scale of emotion that I described above starts with the feeling of “oppression” or however that feels for you. It then moves to anger or hostility, then to the fear of anger and hostility. It then moves to feelings of protecting one’s self, of running away or lashing out. Then it moves like a roller coaster, picking up speed and out of control, to acting out either the anger or the hostility, then to guilt and shame, and then to feeling half-alive, to rationalization to “not caring” and shutting off feelings. And then, in a while it starts all over again. That is the addictive emotional cycle.
It looks like this:
Fear of anger and hostility toward you from others
Protecting one’s self (isolating, running away or lashing out)
Acting out, actually withdrawing or lashing out
The Compromise of rationalization “Oh, that’s just the way life is” or “That’s just the way I am.”
It a roller coaster, it’s the foundation of addiction because it is the emotional pattern that underlies all addictive and negative habitual behavior. All of it, no exceptions!
They are the wrong notes in the music of life. They don’t’ work. It isn’t a pretty sound scale of music. These are the scales of emotion that are characterized by disharmony and cacophony; they sound and feel awful.
The Positive Scales
So just like you would practice scales to learn to play a concerto, these are the scales of emotion that are important to practice everyday.
Learn them. Memorize them. Practice putting your emotions through these scales that are the opposite of oppression and projection. They are scales of feelings you play to get to a high UpSpiral. You can play these scales at will. Get better and better at feeling them and you will play them very quickly, very skillfully, very well.
You can get so good at playing these scales that you can be in a very uncomfortable situation, at the start of an argument, ready to go on stage, faced with conflict and you can make the choice to run through one of these scales.
These scales are “billion dollar ideas.” They are worth everything in life to be able to play and experience the music they can make in your life.
Get really good at them and they will keep you in the “flow” of life. Get exceptionally good and they can keep you in a “zone” of life.
These are two of the scales that can make your life a concerto.
Feel the feelings, one right after the other, over and over just like you were practicing the piano. Make this the music of your mind.
Scale I (The At Ease State of Mind)
Scale II The ME or Mental Equivalent State of Mind)
In Control (feeling good)
Excited and Eager
Eager and Anticipatory
Awe and Wonder
Roll smoothly from one feeling to another and let them build. This doesn’t have to be “great” feeling. Just teach the brain this new scale or “roller coaster” of positive emotions. Like the piano, it just takes practice.
Here are the rewards:
Your blood pressure will go down.
Your negative moods will change more quickly.
Stress will decrease.
Your shoulders will drop.
Your breathing will deepen and become more even.
Your attitude will change.
You will like yourself and others better.
Your brain will be in greater synchrony, use less psychic energy, and you will have greater access to your strengths.
The world will look brighter and better.
On a scale of 1-10 you do not have to feel a lot of emotion. If 10 is feeling an enormous positive state of mind, and 1 is a little, play the scales of feelings through your mind and brain at a 1 or a 2 or a 3. All you need is a little to teach the brain that it is learning a new “song.”